My darling husband had a chequered start to growing Meyer lemons in our wee backyard orchard beside the sea. He planted a few bushes as a hedge beside the herb parterre and they soon began to die; too much salt spray. He replanted the small bushes in very large clay pots and placed them in a sunny sheltered position beside the greenhouse. The lemon trees flourished. More than five years passed, and finally our lemon trees budded, finally yielding many mini-sized lemons. To celebrate their auspicious arrival, I decided a special dessert tasting of sweet Meyer lemons would showcase these little yellow jewels. Our organic Meyer lemons tasted quite sweet, so the recipe needed very little sweetener. I’m guessing it’s best to adjust the amount of sweetener indicated in the recipe depending on the type of lemons you decide to use. At the end of a long languid lunch on a rainy Mother’s Day afternoon, I shared slices of the chilled Meyer lemon and blueberry cheesecake with our family. My son-in-law was amazed that it was delicious, as he didn’t think a vegan dessert could taste so non-vegan.
· Lemons are well known for fighting acne and colds, and reducing anxiety. Yet a little less known fact is that lemons can be used to fight fatigue; simply pierce the lemon and suck through a straw for a fast acting remedy.
· Lemon juice in water before breakfast is an inexpensive way to rejuvenate skin and body healing, an aid to digestion and detox, helps with weight loss, boosts your mood and energy and is packed with vitamin C.
MEYER LEMON & BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE
Makes 18cm (7 inch) cake
V, GF, DF, RSF
For the base:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
½ cup shredded coconut
8 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons nut butter
1½ cup fresh blueberries
For the lemon filling:
1½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
½ cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup rice malt syrup, adjust to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
For blueberry topping:
a few frozen blueberries, thawed
½ cup of filling
1 tablespoon lemon juice
lemons slices, blueberries and rose petals to decorate
Soak the cashews in a bowl, covered with water, for 2 hours or overnight. Drain. To make the base, add the cashews to a food processor and process until it becomes a crumb-like mixture. Add the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries, and process to combine. Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the cake tin, and grease the sides with coconut oil. Press the base mixture into the cake tin evenly. Pour a layer of fresh blueberries on top. The blueberries can be omitted if you desire.
Place all the filling ingredients into the blender and blend until silky smooth. Pour this mixture into the cake tin, leaving ½ cup in the blender for the blueberry topping, and return the cake to the freezer. Place all blueberry topping ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. Carefully pour the mixture over the cake and smooth gently, and freeze for ½ hour. Place the cake in the freezer for 4-6 hours or overnight to set. Remove from the freezer at least an hour before serving. Decorate with thin slices of lemon, blueberries and rose petals. Cut into sections and serve.